Monday, 20 June 2011

X-Men: First Class - From Strip to Screen

I really enjoyed this movie, in my humble opinion it's the best X-Men film so far and if they decide to reboot the series starting here (they've already contradicted a lot of X-Men film lore in this movie) then I would have no objection whatsoever. As ever the exciting thing about the movie is the new mutants it showcases, which has me scarmbling around on Wikis and encyclopaedias (I'm particularly grateful for the Marvel Wki, which I think I'll add to the sidebar) and it's interesting to see how long standing comics characters have been adapted to fit into a movie so my aim is to priovide a quick comparison between the screen version and the established comics version of the character.

Before I start two things: First I must admit to only a cursory knowledge of the Marvel in-depth universe, so some discrepancies may well appear and I'm not even going to attemp covering the Ultimate and other versions of the character. Second I'm only going to cover new mutants in this post as otherwise it will take too long - I'll probably cover the others in some retrospective posts - assuming this goes well.

The First Class

Banshee (Screen)
Real Name: Sean Cassidy
Power: Audiokinesis (Sonic Scream)
Affiliation: X-Men

Banshee is a young mutant recruited by Charles Xavier who discovered him with the Cerebro device that tracked mutants across the globe. He had little control over his power, only using it for cheap tricks such as scaring away fish at an aquarium. Xavier taught him how to control and unleash his ability to release devastating screams, and even to fly. He fought in the Cuban missile crisis alongside the fledgling X-Men, using his screams as sonar to locate and attack the Hellfire submarine. He joined Xavier's academy though was absent in later years, interestingly Siryn (his daughter in the comics) is present in the original triolgy as a young student.

Banshee (Strip)
Real Name: Sean Cassidy
Power: Audiokinesis (Sonic Scream)
Affiliation: X-Men/ Generation X/ X-Corp

Banshee was a successful Interpol agent based in Ireland who kept hi mutant powers secret. While away on a job his wife was killed in a terrorist attack, and his newborn daughter (unknown to him) was kidnapped by his cousin Tom Cassidy and raised by him. Sean first met the X-Men as an opponent when he was controlled by Factor Three, with the use pf an explosive headband, he was freed and after a spell on his own joined the X-Men aiding them in numeroud battles including a abattle against Tom Cassidy where he was united with his daughter. He later became head of Generation X and X-Corp. Banshee was killed in battle years later, trying to save a plane full of innocents from an attack. His daughter has taken the name Banshee in his honour, but like a great many comic book characters he has recently made a return from the dead.

Havok (Screen)
Real Name: Alex Summers
Power: Plasma blasts
Affiliation: X-Men

Alex was imprisoned for killing a man, presumably with his powers. He kept himself to solitary confinement in an effort to prevent his abilities for harming others. Xavier released him to work for the CIA and helped him focus his ability with the help of a special emitter, though he was reluctant to use his power, especially when the Hellfire Club manipulated it into killing another mutant. He fought with the X-Men in the Cuban Missile Crisis, using his blasts agains the Hellfire Club's mutants, he then joined Xavier's academy. It is yet to be seen what his relationship to Scott Summers is in the movie universe.

Havok (Strip)
Real Name: Alexander Summers
Power: Plasma blasts
Affiliation: X-Men/ X-Factor

Alexander was seperated from his older brother Scott (aka Cyclops) at an early age when their parents died in a plane crash. His powers manifested when someone tried to kidnap him and his adoptive sister, and Alex disintegrated him with his ability. He studied Geophysics at University, and after gradfuating worked for a mutant who realising his identity used Alex's ability, combined with his ability to absors energy to transform himself into the almost unstopabble Living Monolith. This being was defeated by the X-Men, but Havok refused to join, preferring to stay out of civilization. He succeeded in this until he was captured by Sentinels, after being rescued again he agreed to join Xavier and was reunited with his brother. He has been a long-standing member of the team, though he has at times left to join X-Factor, and to follow his love the Goblin Queen.

Darwin (Screen)
Real Name: Armando Munoz
Power: Adaptive Mutation
Affiliation: X-Men

Darwin was one of many young mutants discovered with Cerebro. He earned his living as a Taxi Driver and jumped at the chance to belong with other mutants, showing off his ability to adapt to any situation, such as growing lungs when underwater. When the Hellfire Club attacked the X-Men, he led the fight against the enemy but was killed when Sebastian Shaw absorbed Havok's energy and released it inside of him.

Darwin (Strip)
Real Name: Armando Munoz
Ability: Adaptive Mutation
Affiliation: X-Factor / X-Men

Darwin was marked as amutant from childhood, having long arms and a bald head. He discovered his ability when bullied at school - the bullies put his head in a toilet and he found he could breath underwater. When his mother was caught in a fire, his body adapted and he carried her out unharmed, but she rejected him as a mutant. After being tested by scientists and feeling depressed about his condition he was rescued by Moira McTaggert and brought into the X-Men. Once thought dead in a battle it was not so and his body adapted once more and he returned to the X-Men.

Angel (Screen)
Real Name: Angel Salvadore
Abilities: Winged flight, corrosive aliva
Affiliation: X-Men/ Hellfire Club/ Brotherhood

Angel hid her wings, though she was marked with dragonfly wing tatoos. She worked as an exotic dancer, hiding her ability until Xavier and Magneto demonstrated their own mutant abilities. Sick of pandering to humans and hiding her true nature she joined the Hellfire club and fought against her former friends, later joining the Brotherhood.

Tempest (Strip)
Real Name: Angel Salvadore
Abilities: Wings, corrosive spit, later elemental powers from a suit
Affiliation: X-Men / New Warriors

When Angel's ability began to manifest she was driven away by her abusive stepfather and fully mutated, growing wings. After being attacked for her mutant powers she was rescued by the X-Men and joined their class. She became involved romantically with Beak, a fellow mutant and had children with him. During the House of M incident she and Beak lost her powers, but she now works with the New Warriors thanks to a technological suit that grants her powers.

And that'll do - I'm all for the movie writers adapting the characters, who often have convoluted storylines, into new versions for the movie universe while keeping the same powers and rough identity. I was going to do the Hellfire Club too - but that'll wait for another post I think!

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